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Abraham De La Cruz and Chauvet Professional Do Balancing Act at Gran Circo Bardu

Gran Circo Bardu circus

Daring acrobatic performers are as much a part of a circus as jugglers and clowns. This is especially true at Gran Circo Bardu, which, having no animals in its rink, relies heavily on the amazing feats of physical dexterity by its acrobats to thrill audiences.

These nimble artists aren't the only ones performing delicate balancing acts at Gran Circo Bardu. As a lighting designer at the popular circus, Abraham De La Curz Merida must also walk a tight rope of sorts. With no backdrop or scenery inside the circular rink, he has to create texture with lighting alone; but at the same time, he must also be very careful not to distract the performers as they go through their carefully choreographed routines.

Helping him thread the needle between these demands and create stunning visuals that support the stars during a one-hour acrobatic demonstration is a collection of four Rogue R3 Spot and four Rogue R2X Wash fixtures from Chauvet Professional, owned by the circus. The eight fixtures are arranged discretely around the circular rink, which has a circumference of 14-meters (just under 46'). From these positions, the fixtures, grouped in pairs of spots and washes, create a vivid tapestry of patterns and colors that enhance the impact of the performances.

"Our Rogue R3 Spots give use very nice, crisp gobos that help to define the performance area," says De La Curz Merida. "In a circus gobos are important to the design, because you don't have the scenic pieces that you have in most shows. The gobo patterns help to define the space."

In addition to projecting engaging gobo patterns, the Rogue R3 Spot fixtures, join with the Rogue R2X Wash units to set a range of moods in the rink with color. Dominating the color scheme, and lending an extra-intense air to the circus' shows, are artful blends of bold primary colors.

"I love the combination of red and yellow for the contrast and because in theory it means energy and joy," says De La Curz Merida. "To me this is something that makes a statement; the moment of the show is perfect."

While creating these compelling looks, De La Curz Merida has to be careful that his lighting does not distract the performers. "The biggest challenge is to make the artists feel comfortable," he says. "The artists are performing very precise moves under pressure, so we do not want to do anything to interfere with their vision. My mentor Ernesto De la Cruz has been a very good teacher in showing me how to be successful at this balancing act."

The "balancing act" that De La Curz Merida learned how to perform may not be nearly as dramatic as the acrobatic feats showcased in the rink, but by adroitly navigating different demands with such skill and style, he helps make a day at this high-flying circus that much more memorable.


(19 May 2022)

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